Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whacky Wednesday

1 Thes.1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Hello my friends in the blog world!

Is everyone doing okay? Well that’s great. I haven’t heard from a few of you in a while and I’m wondering if you’re still out there lingering in the background, just waiting for me to post something of some use to you.

Well I have to announce the beginning of F2K’s free writing course! That begins next Wednesday and it might just be a lot of fun for everyone. Yes I plan on being a mentor, but when you sign up, you don’t get to choose whose room you’re in, but if you join, feel free to visit me and let me know you’ve arrived.

I’ll visit you all too. :) You know, to keep an eye on you? And remember, signing up does not grant you access immediately. You have to wait like the rest of us for the seventh to arrive, to gain access. Sometimes folk think that by signing up that they’ll gain access to WVU and all it’s 250 courses. Sorry, but they are separate sites.

I’m feeling a little on the off kilter side today. Don’t know what has got a hold of me, but I’m sure it will pass, as all the other off kilter days. Been doing a lot of thinking about my future, where it is heading and where I want to go. Maybe that’s what has me down, I have no direction. I feel like I’m wandering aimlessly out in this world.

Oh well... I’ve had worse happen to me to knock me off my high horse. Maybe I need to go visit the horses up the road, and have a little talk with them. They always seem to understand. It is always a serene moment when even passing the horses. They nod their heads in recognition of me, a stranger passing by, and sometimes they come to the fence, you know, just to chat and whinny in my face. Beautiful creatures they are.

Now the cows aren’t as chatty, they like to graze and be left alone. They huddle together like ju-ju bees on a hot summer day. Sometimes they crowd around the trough, drinking water then go back to grazing. Yes, I find cows amazing. Gee, I’m a city gal placed out here in cow country and all the fields of glory before me, and what? Am I not supposed to sit in awe of the beauty?

I think I’ll drink from the trough of life and see what else the farmers place out here for me, to make me feel a little better.

As for you, you need to keep writing, keep the chin up and remember that God loves you, even on days you don’t feel very loved.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Manic Monday

1 Tim. 4: 12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Well it’s not really a manic Monday but I do have bunches of stuff to do today. Like wash clothes, mow the lawn, clean house, you know the old routines of a Monday. I’m sitting here now writing because in the wee hours of the morning when all that I hear are birds chirping and wanting to play, the silence of this morning is treasured.

Yesterday was a nice restful day. After church I like to fix a nice lunch and relax with the sounds. I was pretty overwhelmed by church yesterday as I usually am when Pastor Mike delivers a sermon. I don’t know what it is but a feeling of warmth runs through my veins and I never want the moment to end. (It’s the living and breathing word, some might say.)

I remember years ago I thought I didn’t need a church. “If God wants me in a church, he’ll find one for me,” I always said. Well wouldn’t you know it, God heard me and found us a church. He made sure I was away from Baltimore and away from negative influences I guess, because He had work for me to do.

I talked to my mother yesterday, and we were talking about ‘sleaze’ t.v. She just loves those shows. I had said something like, “God wants you to have a pure mind, and those shows don’t allow it, they put in sleaze.” She said, “I have a pure heart and that’s good enough for God.”

It drove a knife through my heart because if she only knew what was good enough for God. God wants a pure mind, body and soul, and if we think for a moment He wants anything less, we’re heading down the wrong path. But hey, I’m not here to tell you about the path you should or should not take, why not have a talk with God and ask Him.

As a writer, I was thinking of sleaze novels, you know the trash that tries entering into our library? I’m not against the use of murders, language, whatever it takes for a character to bring a means to an end. I prefer a novel with substance, just like television, I won’t watch things without substance, it seems kind of pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I used to just for the thrill of it, but since the Lord called me into His heart by way of His house, I have a fear of letting him down.

I personally want a pure mind, body and soul. (And no, drinking, smoking weed, flaunting your cleavage are not pure to God.) I strive for purity actually. Do I succeed? I’m sure I falter as many, I’m human, I think. So, on this Manic Monday, as his mom has a doctors appointment with a routine test, my prayers are lifted up for us all to find the purity in our hearts and listen, just listen to what God is telling you.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poetry Sunday~ Unchained Heart

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open. - Sir James Dewar
Unchained Heart
(c) Joni Zipp
Veils of pain drape my face
like rain that never ends;
words are lost in the wind
the sorrow that it sends.

The morning dew gives way
to a steam that fills the air
humid days are now a part
of all the dalliance fair.

Intimacy has fled from me
laced throughout the trees
getting snagged on a branch
it dances with the leaves.

My mind is washed in glory
that only God can give.
I sing out praise to his name
as all the while I live.

The hymns I sing rejoin
my soul to all I’ve lost.
Never looking back again
at many paths I’ve crossed.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quotation Saturday

There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. - Edith Wharton


"To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between the minimum and the maximum that represents your optimum. The minimum is the least you can get by with. The maximum is the most you’re capable of. The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is most favorable toward the ends you desire."
-Nido Qubein

"The seasons do not push one another; neither do clouds race the wind across the sky. All things happen in their own good time."
-Dan Millman


I can live with doubts and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong... I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, so far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.
-Richard P. Feynman

Willfulness must give way to willingness and surrender. Mastery must yield to mystery.
-Gerald G. May


The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.
-Bennett Cerf

A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes--only sometimes.
-L. M. Montgomery
Rilla Of Ingleside


"It is not so much what you believe in that matters, as the way in which you believe it and proceed to translate that belief into action."
-Lin Yutang

"Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, June 25, 2010

Instrument of Nature

Heb. 2: 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
I was watching a show that Oprah did yesterday and on the screen sat Michael Jackson. His laugh was charming, his smile lit the entire room, his light shone brighter than a million stars, then I realized, he is no longer here, the light has been dimmed.

I’ve heard the rumors and read so much negative stuff on the man, coming from the judgmental society that we live in. You know, the society of INNOCENT until proven guilty? I think society was so jealous of this man’s accomplishments and all that he did, they never gave him a chance at life. They believed everything that was ever written, and since I’m a writer, I KNOW the truth can and will be embellished in writing!

I watched as they condemned and darn near crucified him to the point of seclusion and as we know, Michael was not one to stay in the shadows for very long. He came out to face a roaring crowd, to be seen as the magical presence that he was, and give us of himself for one last ‘This is It’ concert.

I still remember where I was when it was announced that Elvis Presley died. He was more of my mother’s idol but I was still saddened to see a man brought down by a society that lifted him so high, he had to fly, onward and upward. Elvis was a player, but no one thought that was wrong. People idolized him as if her were a gorgeous God.

I remember where I was the day Michael Jackson died too. I grew up listening to him, and as an adult I respected the innocence of his nature, as an artist, I admired his work, as a man, I loved him for making me think of ‘the man in the mirror’. I’m not a man, but that song, as all of his music, the art that it was, made you think of grander things.

On the one year anniversary of his untimely death, I think of all that he did and not the things he was accused of doing. I think of the man that is finally resting out of our harms way and can finally run through the sprinklers of heaven with all of the children gone before him, but there, he won’t be judged. I don’t know if he went to heaven and I know you can’t get there by works done on earth, but Michael finally met his judgement and it wasn’t an unforgiving society, he met a forgiving God!

Michael is finally, not only an Instrument of Nature, which I found profound when asked what he thought of himself, but he is an instrument of peace. Through every song, he not only unleashed a flurry of rhythm for us to rock to, he let us into his mind, his truth and we didn’t hear. He let out a feather of beauty... we rode on the wings of his words.

Songs like: Will you be There

Everyone's Taking Control Of Me
Seems That The World's
Got A Role For Me
I'm So Confused
Will You Show To Me
You'll Be There For Me
And Care Enough To Bear Me
In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I'll Never Let You Part
For You're Always In My Heart.
Yes Michael, some of us will still be here. Rest in peace, and be cradled by LOVE!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thinking Thursday~ My 500th post!!!

Happy 500th Post!

Well I’ve been thinking. Oh no, there goes the neighborhood when Joni begins ‘thinking’. lol

Have you ever lost sight of progress? You know where you just go on, day in and day out, forgetting what you’re doing all of this writing for and blogging?

I get bored very easy and I have to strive to find new things to talk about since in my last 500 posts I have talked about everything from adverbs to adjectives, POV to characterization, from glory to shame, acceptance to rejection, everything there is to get you through your week, and me too.

Getting me through a week is a challenge on a daily basis because I’m not organized in the least. June will have my head! I’m not goal oriented and sometimes I lack persistence. What is that you say? I’m normal? Oh go on.

I should be tackling the keyboard like a madwoman but instead my garden speaks to me and I go running to it forgetting this here blogisphere. So if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know Joni has gotten lost in the garden of life and she is basking in the glorious sun that sweeps over her like a feathered breeze.

I need to be revising my novel. I read everyone else’s work, get lost in critiques, write about saving the world (okay that one I tossed in) but you know how it is? You get lost out here in the world and forget about what really matters.

Today marks my 500th post! Congratulations Joni! I know to some who have surpassed the 500 mark and are aiming at 1,000 or 5,000 for that matter, laugh at me and choke on their own saliva. But to me, 500 is a goal I striven for, for my fellow writers to gain something of true substance in my helping the writer along in the craft. Hopefully I’ve succeeded in giving you all a glimpse of the struggle writer’s go through whether in writing or in life. We persist, endure, strive, and conquer.

My post have been kept to the 500 word limit give or take a word here and there, so as not to bore you with redundancy. I see myself as achieving a goal here with my blog. I have blogged, enjoyed it, written and persevered with my fellow writer’s. Now lets head forward and move the bushes out of my eyes as I segue into a new journey.

I’ll keep you posted. *wink* Pun intended here!
Thank you my followers for all of your support and encouraging words along the way. You’ve been a blessing.

May many blessings rain down upon you and you feel the presence of the Lord’s fingertips! Godspeed one and all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Worthy Wednesday

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Did you ever feel unworthy? Gosh, I’m sure almost every single one of us has at some point in our lifetime.

About seven years ago, I started taking this writing biz serious. I took a two-year course, then I joined WVU via the F2K program but there was this little worm crawling around inside of me saying, “You’re not worthy to be a writer.”

“What? Not worthy?”

Well, when someone tells me I can’t do something it only makes me strive harder. When someone utters, you’re not worthy. I kick them in the butt and send them on their way, thank you.

I’ve been a writer almost all of my young life, and I continue to reach for an obtainable goal of being the writer I always dreamed of becoming. I read something today from a fellow writer, she said, “Long after I’m gone, my words and my writing will still be alive.”

Isn’t that the truth? This is the very reason I get all the words I can out there to be seen. When someone googles, Joni Zipp, I don’t want them to find nothing of substance, I want them to get a clear picture of who I am and what legacy I choose to leave behind.

My writing is my life. Money or no money, this craft has carried me through my pain and sorrows, filtered the sunlight so my world remains bright, sheltered me from harm, and has   made something bigger than even I imagined.

In a world where get rich quick schemes thrive, an earth where we tear down instead of build up, in a conscious where the ‘me’ factor is more important than the ‘you’ factor, we lose something of genuine beauty.

I’m not here writing for me, I’m giving to you all that I am, all that I choose to be, and all of my dreams. You know what?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Monday...POV shift

My past is my wisdom to use today. . . my future is my wisdom yet to experience. Be in the present because that is where life resides.
Gene Oliver, Life and the Artistry of Change

Well as you know yesterday was Father’s Day. I didn’t get to see my dad but I called him just to let him know I was thinking of him. He received my card (Sunday’s poem) on Thursday, thanked me and he went on to have a nice day.

Steven got a tee shirt from Adam with all the Marvel comic heroes (and maybe some villains) on it and as he still loves comics, he loved the shirt. He also got a call from Bio-kid, first time in thirteen years, which I know made him happy. We went to church, and went to lunch afterward at a place of his choice, and Taco Johns was his choice.

All in all, it was a nice, sunny, windy Father’s Day.

I’m reading a book called Rose Madder by Stephen King. I’ve read it before but as in all of Kings novels, these need to be read more than two or three times in your lifetime. Being a writer it is sometimes hard to put on the ‘just a reader’ hat and I’m always dissecting elements of the book as I go along. Maybe this is why I read it two and three times, so I can really grasp the full story.

I think in this book, rules are broken but handled with delicate care as only a master crafter of writing can do. He jumps POV, and as you know POV is point of view. The book begins with Rose getting beat by her husband on a daily basis for too many years until she finally leaves.

She goes to a battered women shelter eight hundred miles away. Then there is Norman the battering husband. As we’re reading Rose’s POV and are virtually living in her head, the story shifts to Norman back home, wanting revenge because she left. This part of the story is in italics, so we know Norman from Rose.

I’m not going to tell you all of the things Rose does but really this book is all over the place. She leaves and a walk down the street can take three pages until she finally makes it to the bus stop. Like I said, King is a master. It lends to the story because we are deep into Rose, when Norman the madman, sits at his desk, seeking revenge.

Literally gripping storytelling. Is POV shift okay in a story? Apparently when done craftily it can be pulled off with style. A new writer should never attempt this because a lot of the times you lose a part of your story, but in Rose’s case, this was done thoughtfully as the story progressed because we the reader are thinking, “what did Norman do when he found out Rose left?” It works because not only is it what Norman DID when she left, it is what he DOES!

Weaved into the story, Norman’s POV is as important as Rose’s. We need both sides of the story and Mister King can make you squirm in your seat awaiting the next page.

Just as in any holiday, Father’s day to me is seen from my perspective, and Father’s have their own perspective. Shifts in POV, virtually imperative to making some stories work. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poetry Sunday~Happy Father's Day!

A poem for my father;

Happy Father's Day!
(c) Joni Zipp

When I was little
I’d sit on his shoulder
I didn’t fit
as I got older.

Memories of
our walks to the Fort
His towering body
and me real short.

Holding my hand
never letting it go.
My father; protector
always let me know.

I was his Peanut
the baby, his gem
never forgetting
who I really am.

I swiftly grew
he let go of my hand.
Out on my own
I’d firmly stand.

Always there
whenever I pleaded
he’d help me out,
with whatever I needed.

Although his struggles
were not far away.
He conquered the demons
through all of his days.

He’s a pillar now
to my eyes I behold.
The strongest of men
if truth be told.

I love my father
with all of my heart.
I’m always there
even though we’re apart.

Never forget
the woman you raised.
It is my Father
whom should be praised!
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
*Fort McHenry was about a mile
from my house. We'd go there on Sundays 
and yes, he'd carry me on his shoulders 
until I got too big. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quotation Saturday

John 10: 29-30 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  I and my Father are one.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
~ Jim Valvano

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.
~ Johann Schiller

I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.
~ Imelda Marcos

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
~ Dinah Craik

If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'
~ Jeff Foxworthy
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. 
~Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)
If not for a father, we would not exist. Existence depends on a father! Families depend on a father figure!
I would like to wish fathers everywhere a Happy Father’s Day! Some fathers have passed on, some fathers are far away, but whatever the case may be, we will always hold a piece of our father in our hearts.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Freaky Friday

Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.
Dale E. Turner
Ever have ‘one of those days’ ??? Well it seems here lately, I’ve had a few of those days, right in a row.

Nothing bad or anything, just crazy kind of weird?  I’m a person of routine. I like my routine, try to stick to my routine and when something comes up at the last minute, it kind of throws me off kilter. Not to mention the wind hampering outside activities.

As writer’s we remain private people. We want to share our stories but not our lives, right? Write! I’m always sharing my story; the good the bad and the downright ugly. Go ahead, ask me a question and I’ll be bluntly honest.

This is what we need to do as writer’s penning a novel. We can’t skirt around an issue that a character is having; we need to tackle a situation head on. Change is part of the inevitable with our story, so be sure to give said character a lot of bumps to maneuver over, hills to climb, and situations that he/she can get out of, or at least die trying.

Parts of us will flow into our characters. Pieces of our past will be sifted into the novel or short story. We can’t abandon the fact of all we know and have gained in our life, maybe even things that are not in our lives, we as writers can touch on.  Writing about killing someone for instance, would be a hard situation for me to write, but the good news is, I’ve read enough of King and Koontz to know how it is done.

I think Koontz is an avid fan of weaponry. He can give gripping detail down to the last pin of a revolver or handgun. He can enhance a weapon, even if it can’t be enhanced logically, he can make the weapon become a plausible piece of artillery. And that said piece, will be integral in the story (or not) but the man knows how to delve into the deepest darkest part of the human psyche.

As a writer I can’t dance around an issue because I don’t know it. This is where the research of any weapons, cars, places is essential to bringing your story into the hands of your readers. If you research and literally know your stuff, the reader can visualize the scene more clearly thus giving your story a reality, bringing it to life.

Freaky Fridays can happen anywhere to anyone...change is inevitable, and life happens.
Why not make some lemonade? :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thought-filled Thursday

Job 14: 13  O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)
Today I’m filled with thoughts. I’m sure you love coming here and reading about my thoughts, don’t you?

Have you ever had the past come back and bite you in the tush? Never? Well dang! My past seems to haunt me wherever I go. Some would say, “Oh just let it go.” Sorry friends to tell you this, but that is easier said than done.

I would love nothing more than to lay MY past to rest, but things creep back to the surface like mushrooms in the wet grass. They appear here and there, one day they’re plentiful but during dry spells you’re hard pressed to find one surfacing. That’s what the past has been doing to me lately. Memories, feelings, shadows dancing, all in my face.

In a novel, the past of a character is called back story. And if we laid the character’s past to rest, you’d barely have a story. Or you might have one that doesn’t make much sense to your reader.

What has brought on this rush of memory lane for me? A bunch of stuff, but most notably, this week is Father’s Day. I’m here in Nebraska far away from my dad and it would be so nice just to put my arms around him, hug him and let him know he’s loved.

My father wasn’t a perfect man by any means. He was no Ward Cleaver for sure. He worked, drank, and lived, rarely batting an eye at any of the six kids he fathered, so why do I love and miss him so much? Because I let the PAST GO! I’ve forgiven all the wrongs that my parents did, and embrace the them that is now.

My colorful past might be one for the books and novels of the non-fiction genre, but so is my tale of healing, forgiving, moving on and facing each new day. I embraced Christianity when I was 14, and even though my parents don’t understand what that means as they call themselves Catholic, by name and prayer only, I move forward in life, not backwards, if I can help it.

A Christian is not someone who attends church and thus says, “I’m a Christian, I go to church!” That is just wrong. For many years I called myself a Christian and hadn’t stepped into a church, only for the lack of Christianity teachings going on in churches.

A Christian, walks the walk as much as talks the talk. I don’t profess to be Christ-like (in my actions, words,  and thoughts) I try my best to ACT like a person of Christ.

I’m not perfect, I don’t forgive in the snap of a finger. I don’t overlook things and pretend nothing ever happened, I don’t lie, keep secrets, hide things, in hopes the discovery is only between me and my conscious. I embrace the past, wash my pain with words, color my world with love. I am working on me, the me that I am. My past is a part of me, it’s a part of your characters. Never let it disappear because there is a beneficial amount of healing to come from the popping up of memories.

Did you ever hold onto the negative and overlook the positive? Yeah, we all are guilty. Now lets move ahead in trust, faith and prayer, and keep God growing in our future so we have strength to deal with the past.

“I’ll move from the past to carry me into the future and hope one day my future has you in it.” ~ joni

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Talk- o Tuesday

The Audio World...

I’m all audio-ed out. Okay that is not a word but you get my meaning. I’ve blogged about audio this and audio that, I’ve driven you across the country with a new way of reading books, I’ve given you links to help you find good reviews in Audio Book Heaven, I’ve guided you to to sites that will allow you to download movies that you can listen to, now I’m audio’ed out.

Is there anything else that I can add to the audio industry to make you understand how technological this stuff is? As I’ve said before, I’m no techie, so all this audio stuff is new to me. Gosh I remember uploading my first picture, it was the coolest thing since playing Scrabble, you know, the board game?

Board games are obsolete, cards on a family night have all but disappeared. Everyone spends time alone, and usually it is on the computer tapping keys, forgetting that a world exists out here.

I’ve never downloaded a single song, I like to use the old CD player for that. Gee, I might have to pull out my record player! A record player to you kids is the thing that those hip hop Dee Jay’s use to make that wicked squeaky sound, but us older folk actually used them to listen to music. Can you imagine that?

There is an audible world that comes alive when you close your eyes, did you know that? The blind have access to the secret dominion, and the sighted take it for granted. In my world where I never aspire to becoming a part of this technological world, I become one with the sounds of life. The hustle and bustle of the chirping birds, the wind dancing through the trees, cars roaring down the road, dove’s singing to their mate. All of this exist in the audible world called life.

So, as much as I want to continue on this Talk-o Tuesday audio stuff, I’m audio’ed out. Back to doing what I do best, writing about writing! Or writing about life and its ever changing aspects and the affect it is having on my life. :)

I’m not tired of writing or life yet. So on we go....:)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Job 17:12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.

Change is inevitable. Since the beginning of time we’ve gone through transitory changes that has moved us as humans along. Life as we know it, and growth has become an expected source of newness and glory.

Stagnant living does not cause change, although things will begin to change whether you sit still or not. I think what I’m trying to say here is that change is good.

I’ve read so many books in my life and I’ve noticed one common thread throughout the stories. Change. Point blank. The character and story start out one way, say a woman goes down a road (metaphorically speaking that is), then change slaps her in the face, and the story begins its roller coaster ride until she reaches the end of the road an altered person.

You can not write a story without leaking in the imminent changes. The novel would be boring and a redundant repeat of tales gone on before. What we writers need to do is figure out ways to make change new to the reader. Change is always new or something different and Koontz loves to explore change in all of his books, around every page, you never know what to expect.

Change is good. You cannot allow fear to rule your characters. You know, the fear of making change? Your character has to learn from something and change is the only inevitable source.

Sometimes we fear the change will come off as corny, or misguided, out of character, or maybe even contrived. But we have to take the leap if we’re ever to get the novel off the stagnant floor. Live a little, give enthusiasm to your characters. Find a new zest in life for them to live. Allow them to live vicariously through you and in return you’ll be rewarded with a novel that isn’t a repeat of history, it will be a new dawn in the writing world and millions will flock to see what you have written.

Remember...change is what makes the world go round. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Poetry Sunday ~ Joni- just joni

Pr. 27:19  As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.

Joni, just joni
(c) Joni Zipp

I stand beside the column
that towers over me.
I’m small as the shadow
stretches across all I used to be.

I slip in and out of pillars
as they waltz in a gallant
stride of carrying me away
to the life altering talent.

I glide where no one takes
notice of the small shell
awaiting validation
in this wandering cell.

I walk with wobbling
feet that sustains my body
as I find a place to fit in
while I’m feeling  shoddy.

I exist as a human
my skin houses the bony
part of me that becomes
the me I am, I’m joni, just joni. 

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni  Zipp

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quotation Saturday


“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.”          --Benjamin Disraeli

“When you develop your ability to balance your emotions, unexpected problems won’t knock you off balance as easily, and you’ll return more quickly to a positive outlook.”           
--Peggy McColl
“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets go, one soon loses control of the head too.”


"Self-acceptance comes from meeting life's challenges vigorously. Don't numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory."
-- J. Donald Walters

"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch—what makes you go beyond the norm."
-- Cicely Tyson

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."
-- Peter Marshal


"When you know clearly what you want, you’ll wake up every morning excited about life."
-- Mark Victor Hansen

"If you are clear about what you want, the world responds with clarity."
-- Loretta Staples

"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
-- Thomas Jefferson


"True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings."
-- William Shakespeare

"A comforting acquaintance, hope, a contagious thing like spring, inebriating like lager."
 -- Sylvia Ashton-Warner

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope."
-- Martin Luther


Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
---Alan Watts

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
 --Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), Marriage and Morals (1929) ch. 19

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
 --Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

Some might wonder how I choose the quotes that I do. I have to admit, I wholeheartedly choose from an emotional state of mind. If I’m in a writing mood, they are about writing. If I am debating my life choices, then the quotes become an abstract part of all that I am feeling.

May the light of the world shine clarity in your heart, and give you strength to face any challenge before you. Only then can you have hope in a new tomorrow full of LOVE.
-- Joni

Friday, June 11, 2010


Gen. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Is anybody listening? You can hear the wind with its deep prolonged howling out there like a wolf baying at the full moon. Tell it to go away! Day after day, night after night, it prowls the grounds like a morning mist.

I remember in days past the wind was just an element that blew throughout any given day, a tousle of the hair here, a flip of the bangs there, but recently the wind has become a force to reckon with all its own.

It’s nasty, aggressive, life maiming, brutal and merciless. It pounds on windows without a care, it sweeps through the farm like a handmade broom by God, it is a horrendous creature about to devour anything in its wake.

Does anyone ask me if I like it? I don’t. I dislike walking in it, I get wind burn. I despise driving in it as it pushes my car from side to side making me feel like I’m inebriated. The wind hates me and I loathe the callous beast!

It is an obnoxious animal that lurks around every corner just waiting to whip your face into a contorted snarl. The wind licks the trees like a lollipop and likes to spit out the branches and twigs that get stuck in its teeth.

I try to love all the natural elements of the world Earth, Wind, Fire, Water. But these forces are not just a part of what makes up this world, they have chosen to unleash their wrath upon us humans.

I looked into what affect the elements not only have on us as humans but what toll they have taken on the planet Earth.

Wind = thoughts
Fire = desire
Water = Emotions
Earth = Stability

Analogies? “Cool breeze of reason”, “Flames of passion”, “Swamped by emotions”, and the ever popular “Solid as a ROCK”

We’ve been chained to the elements since the beginning of time. Tornadoes and hurricanes have wreaked havoc, wildfires have swept the forest like a radiant vacuum cleaner, floods have swallowed entire towns, and nature has reproduced and evolved as new living creatures form in the Brazilian Rain forest and deserts around the world.

We have God the Father, and his beloved, Mother Nature, who could be considered the bride and reflected image of Creation. By the breath of production of these elements, it boils down to the very core of our existence.

Out in the playground (Earth) are the children (humans) who absorb, play, laugh and cry as our toys (the elements) treat us like fodder.

We’re not alone in our elemental world. We’re a part of it. Now I need to stop all this bickering about the hate and destruction that the forces force on me and drink in the beauty and  living wonder that they provide.

From a song:

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King

You all have a glorious day...

Job 12: 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thought-filled Thursday

"They will perish, but You will endure;Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak, you will change them, And they will be changed."
Psalm 102:26 (NKJV)
Is there any other Thursday? ha ha

Thoughts are running around in my head like a carousel. Up and down, up and down, round and round they go. Does anyone give a hoot? Maybe a select few care but have no idea how to get me out of this slump.

I’m thinking about my writing and just where I’m going with this ‘career’. So many times I want to throw in the towel, other times I want to move full steam ahead, times where I want to give and times where I want to take. It’s just life I guess.

I was thrown into thoughts this week with losing it all, my writing that is. When the thought of the computer crashing surfaced, I panicked. “Save my writing, Save my writing!” Instead of waiting patiently for someone else to save my writing, I immediately kicked myself in the butt and started emailing my writing files to myself. I figure, if it is in my mail, the computer crashes, it is protected no matter where I am in life. As long as google and yahoo stay in business, my writing is in a safe place. (Back up! Back up! Back up!)

Then I learned of free space on the net, like dropbox. com. A free way to save your work online. I have the patience of a clam. Do I have time to wait for my work to be put in there? Well, I don’t know. Do any of us know how much time we have for anything?

Now you might say, “Put it on a disk.” Well I think it IS on a disk. Think being the operative word. Where is the said disk? Do I have it in a safe place? It must be, because it’s playing hide and seek just like the grip pliers that I can’t seem to find. A disk can be broken, emails can’t be shattered with all your hard work.

I have my son sending himself emails too. He has written stories and I just don’t want it to go to cyber heaven when there might be a chance that what he wrote is awesome! I don’t want him to lose all his hard work, and yes, he works hard on those stories.

Now I need to get all my new pics in there too. I don’t want to lose them either, especially the new ones here that we’ve taken of the farm.

I fit in this picture somewhere. Not quite sure why it is so blurry and not zoomed in, giving me a clear picture of what all this means. Is my life, like the computer, about to crash? Can I nestle it safely somewhere in my heart and save it all? Will I be victorious, or a victim of circumstance?

Writing and life are a lot alike sometimes, we just never know how much time we have for anything.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

WII Cane? Wednesday WOW factor!

 Find in yourself something to love, then all the hate will go away. --Joni

Wow. It’s amazing the technology out there. Living in the sighted world all my life as a person who can drink in the beauty of the earth with my eyes, I realize now it is a blessing, not just another thing God gave me.

I caught wind today of a WII Cane. What is a WII Cane? Well, as you know, most of the blind use canes, (unless they have a guide dog), but there has been in the making a cane for the blind with an attached camera that is supposedly going to help guide the blind.

It is still in the beta testing stages, but I read about it and it sounds quite fascinating. I wonder if you can only use it with the WII system? Or are the people at WII making it to help the blind?

They seem to be testing it on children? I would love for my blind friends to check this out. Let me know if it’s bogus, awesome technology, or useful technology. You can comment on it, and they don’t have that crazy captcha stuff for you to barrel through.

Maybe you, the blind, can blog about this if you find it useful?

And to top off this post, I’ve caught wind of audio movies? WOW! (Yes this is wow Wednesday) Movies, with audio description in MP3 format? How cool is that? And it is from Three Blind Mice, so screen readers can find it extremely useful. (Thanks Ro and Jenn)

I know my writing friends are not impressed with any of this, they’re thinking, “We want writing tips.”

Writing tips? What am I you’re everyday visit to a place for tips? :) I love you all and you know it.

Why not WOW someone with your writing? Write something they least expect from you. Step out of the box and grab your reader with new and awesome things in this world. I was going to make this Woeful Wednesday and talk about my woes, but instead I turned the negative into a positive and made it WOW Wednesday!

Do something today to make yourself say, WOW! Stop beating yourself up for the have-nots and be grateful for the HAVE’S! Be appreciative of all that is, and not down because of all the, is not’s, in your life. A lot of the time, depression sets in with negative thoughts piling up on negative thoughts. There is only one fight to banish negative and that is with the strength and power of positive. (Not an easy task, I know!)

Negative -- I want to stay in bed all day under the covers and mope.

Positive -- I made my bed today! WOW!

Then, to top it all off, write about it! We only get one shot at life, make the most of every day!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Talk-o Tuesday ~ The Audio Book World

Deut. 4: 14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.
How many times can I tell you about AudioBook Heaven? “Every Tuesday,” she says with a smile.

You see the audio book industry has something that the regular novel doesn’t. It has 21 st century appeal! By that, I mean there are more young kids not interested in reading books these days, what with all the texting going on in their lives, but an audio book is something they can put on their MP3 player and carry it with them.

I would much rather have a kid who listens to audio books while driving, than have one that texts and listens to loud awful head-banging music. Maybe the parents can get their kids interested in books, by way of the audio industry. Pop a disk into the car console and let him/her read while on the go!

Oprah has a new campaign going on about the “No Phone Zone.” She has a good point here. How many times have you been riding down the road, normal rate of speed, only to be cut off by someone, and you learn the person is on the phone, or trying to text while driving?

Oh this has happened way to many times to me and yeah, I’m as fed up as Oprah on the matter. Thus, I’m promoting Audio Books, in hopes to get people to put the darn phone down and pay attention.

What did we do BEFORE the advent of cell phones? Did we actually wait to get home to see what the wife wanted from the store? Did we NEED to talk on the phone and drive? Did we feel like something was missing from our lives if we didn’t talk and drive?

What on God’s green earth is so important to talk about that you can’t wait until you arrive home? I just don’t get it. Sure the cell is good for EMERGENCIES on the road, but is risking other people’s lives as important as that call?

I’ve had a cell phone for about seven years now. When I’m driving, I NEVER talk on the phone. If I need to call home and ask, “Did you need something, honey?” I make the call parked in the parking lot. If he wants to carry a conversation, I stay parked.

If the phone rings while I’m driving, I let it ring or pull to the side of the road and say, “I’m driving, what’s so important?” Have our lives gotten so hurried that we forget about other people’s lives? Do we have to live in the second/minutes, possibly costing us our eternity?

Choose to listen to an audio book. Choose NOT to answer the phone. CHOOSE LIFE!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Gen. 1: 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
When in doubt, write it out. Hey, that’s mine. *smile*

I always like to write what I’m feeling. I know many of you have a journal that you write in and keep daily tabs on what you’re doing or going through, right?

Journals are important because they walk you through your day- to- day boredom, I mean life, and can get you through some tough times. I’ve had a journal ever since I can remember and still have most of them too, just so I can look back at where I was, where I wanted to go, and where I wound up.

Not always a pleasing sight those journals. The outside covers were beautiful tapestry, but inside on the lined pages is ugly reality. No one ever said reality was appealing, I guess that’s why they dress journals up to look real pretty.

Did you ever notice, or maybe it’s just me, that in your journal, you often write the bad tortuous stuff, and as the book fills out there seems to be more grotesque looking images than beauty? How many of us write every day, just to say, today was a gorgeous uneventful day?

We write about storms sweeping over our houses, but not the blossoms surrounding us. We’ll dictate a happy event with family that we don't live with, but skip the the menial dinner you had with your family at home. We’re unlike the media, in that we decorate our journal with the wrinkled lines of everyone’s face, and never divulge the airbrushed version.

Yesterday as I sat in church, things whipped me in my face and had me scrunching up my nose. Pastor Mike talked about the sanctity of SEX in marriage. Oh dear, a minister speaking about sex? I know a lot of the old timers are thinking, “How could he!” And in his defense, I’ll say, “Very easily.”

God didn’t place Adam and Eve, a man and woman, here on earth, to just look at each other. They were told to go forth and multiply and well, sorry folks, there is only one way to do that. Through the sanctity of marriage, you bring forth fruit.

I respect the man because he took on a difficult subject that, had ministers had the nerve and guts to really do the Lords work, would have delivered the message years ago possibly saving our promiscuous society from a darkened downfall.

He did something I’ve never seen done. He didn’t hide the word SEX, he didn’t cover it up with, “Shhh...we don’t talk about those things.” Instead, he took it head on and gave us a sermon on the WORD! What the BIBLE says about Marriage, SEX, and Singleness.

He didn’t give us an airbrushed version of reality. He didn’t put a dainty little cover around the subject and call it, The Talk. He took a page instead out of God’s journal to US! All of the good and the bad and delivered them to us, with, what else, GRACE!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Poetry Sunday~Yesterday,Today, Tomorrow

"My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word."
Psalm 119:81
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
(c) Joni Zipp

All our yesterdays have
drifted to the wind
that swept through the days
where new ones begin.

Our tomorrows are all
under the cover of shade
that sifts through nights
without any aid.

Our tomorrows are yesterdays
that happened you see
gone in the dust
and will never be.

Our today's we have,
what we know in the present
enjoy the today
always making it pleasant.

For within our yesterdays
we live in tomorrow
each day we rise to
nothing but sorrow.

Live for the moment
before it is gone
in the blink of an eye
the curtains are drawn.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Quotation Saturday

On everyone’s mind is words, that must convey truth and be written right. ~~ Joni


“Live in truth with all people under all circumstances.” 

-- Brian Tracy

“The virtue of man ought to be measured, not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his everyday conduct.” 

-- Blaise Pascal

Truth spoken with a smile will penetrate the mind and reach the heart. . . .
-- Horace


I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
--Isak Dinesen

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. 

-- Richard Feynman(1918 - 1988)


To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter. 
--- AleisterCrowley (1875 - 1947)

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism is what will be read once.  
--Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning... a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. 
-- Joseph Campbell (1904 - 1987)


The pen is the tongue of the mind.
-- Miguel de Cervantes

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.
-- Charles Caleb Colton

If you are pointing out one of the things a story is about, then you are very probably right; if you are pointing out the only thing a story is about you are very probably wrong - even if you're the author.
-- Neil Gaiman

Friday, June 04, 2010

Reach Out and Touch...

Ps. 45: 1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Boy I’ve got songs on the brain this week.

Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place, if you can.

This is the beginning of the song and it makes me wonder why everyone doesn’t reach out, in some way, if only to make this world a better place.

In our writing this is exactly what we’re doing. We’re reaching out to someone, anyone, that will take what we have to share through our experience, and in some small way we are changing the world. Imagine a world without To Kill a Mockingbird or The Lord of the Rings. Just imagine how unchanged we would be.

I’m sure you can name a book, (the Holy Bible?) or author that not only made a difference in your life, but altered your way of thinking. Whether it was a fictional tale of hope, or a non- fiction on truth, you read the book, you walked away changed.

Now a lot of people read for the fantasy. They don’t want to be touched or changed, they just like reading and want to lose themselves in the fantastical world of werewolves, vampires, and grisly gore so that they have thus buried the reality into which they live. Maybe they’re hiding from something? Maybe they just want a release from the here and now?

Whatever the case may be, the person will come back to reality, read another book that will actually change them again. It’s a vicious cycle, but true no less. Writer’s change the world one word at a time. And who says a good blood sucking tale can’t change your world?

Now you might say, the song says, “to touch somebody’s hand.” In my world a book whether on your MP3 player or ‘in your hand’, will touch someone at some point in time.

the song goes on...

Take a little time out of your busy day
To give encouragement
To someone who's lost the way
(Just try)
Or would I be talking to a stone
If I asked you
To share a problem that's not your own
We can change things if we start giving
Why don't you
reach out and touch somebody’s hand.

Amazing words Miss Ross!

I, in my own way, reach out on a daily basis. I wish everyone could just try to give encouragement to someone who’s lost their way. Whether words touch you, my voice touches you, or what you read touches you...I reach out, it is up to you to take hold of my hand and learn and grow. In this way, we make the world a little bit better place to live.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sunshine Award

That best portion of a man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.
~ William Wordsworth ~
I woke up this morning in the still of the late night. Four A.M. is quite early to me but I just couldn’t fall back to sleep with thoughts running around in my head. I’ve got a lot on my mind in the way of redefining my future, letting go of my past, living day-to-day in the present.

While it was still dark outside, the birds slept while crickets chirped, I arose to a fellow blogger offering me a Sunshine Award. A sunshine award? Me?

It made me think of my mother whom, back home in Maryland, always sings the sunshine song to me, on one of the many daily calls I make to her. Remember,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray, you’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take, my sunshine away.”

She tells me I am her sunshine and my calls brighten her day. Well isn’t that a wonderful feeling? To know that you, little ol’ you, can brighten someones day? I’m blessed.

My friend and fellow blogger Doreen, says I inspire her. That is a GREAT feeling also since sometimes you never know if these words are sinking into someone’s brain or are they just being released to the universe. Thank you Doreen for letting me know that all of this hard work is not for nothing, it is truly for something!

Now onto paying it forward.
I’ll list 5 things that bring me sunshine, and try to pass it on to 5 wonderful friends. Now, remember I don’t have many friends but each and every person that touches my life is a little ray of sunshine on a gloomy day.

5 things that bring me sunshine:

1) My Lord and Savior (on any given day, rain or shine, he always brings the Light into my life.)
2) My Fiance (who although blind, can still see light. He gives me reason and pourpose, encourages and fulfills. He’s my everything.)
2) My son (for whom without, I’d have very little reason for living.)
3) My writing (the only dream holding me into place so I don’t completely fall apart)
4) Nature (my garden is a simple pleasure that brings warmth and sunshine into my world in a sunburst kind of way, and a fragrant way.)
5) Family (mine is far away but thoughts of them always warms my heart. My other family, my fiance’s family, is enriching, nourishing, and nurtures the woman I am today.)

Okay I know I have two number two’s but I can not put one above the other. They are my life.

Now to pass on the sunshine...

1) Steven, although the award is futile being he can’t see the awesome bright orange flower. Two blogs! Drums in the Deep and Audio book Heaven
2) Adam, who is turning into a writer just like his mom. Read his, Poems have Hearts blog.
3) June, who is my mentor above and beyond. Quite an awesome lady. She never allows me to stagnate.
4) Benning, another mentor and dear friend of mine who inspires me and eggs me on!
5) To ALL of my followers who keep me presently in their lives. It is because of them, you get posts everyday. Rich content posts too! :) (see links to my friends to the left)

Thank you all and thank you Doreen!

Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.
~William Wordsworth ~

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Words Worth

For I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes the still, sad music of humanity.
William Wordsworth 

I often think of what my words are worth. When I read guidelines, there it sits, a number for what my words are worth. Sometimes it says .01 cent a word, or .50 cents a word and on rare occasions I see 1.00 a word.

This is what my words are worth to the people accepting my work. To me they seem worth so much more that I fear releasing them into the unknown, but how can I make them worth more if I don’t send them out?

Having my poetry published is one of the stars that I reach for. Sure I’ve written a novel and some short stories, but it is my poetry that holds the key to my heart. Finding a publisher that accepts poetry is no small task, since in these economic times, poetry doesn’t sell. There it is again, a price for my words.

When I think about it, it is not only letting my work go, for a price, it is releasing my words for a cause. I’m a firm believer in the cause and effect theory, and it is because of my poetry, I can have an affect on many peoples lives.

I had a student in f2k this session. He said to me, “This isn’t what I intended the story to mean, so I missed my mark, I’ll have to try again.” I told him, point blank, “Let the people, reader, think for themselves. Allow them to walk away with whatever they want.”

I went on and told him about how my poetry isn’t always intended the way people receive it; they get something totally different then what I wrote and it is okay! I’m not going to change the wording to fit what they got out of it, I’m going to write and release it and whatever affect my poetry has, then I am willing to allow the reader to have an individual thought on the matter. Does that make sense?

Why make your words fit into one persons mind, when another reader might come along and get something totally different from the piece. Are you then going to try and change it for them too? And remember, with every change, you’re going to lose something and that is the intent behind what you meant. Is it worth it?

I don’t feel that it is worth it. This is just my opinion. It is not set in stone or anything, and this is a totally different aspect from revision and taking out or adding words. I had someone crit my poetry and when it came back, the meaning, the flow, the rhythm all were lost to taking a word out here and there. To me, it is not worth losing flow and rhythm, for perfect meter and stanza proportion.

To words are worth more!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Talk-o Tuesday

Talk-o Tuesday Abounds!

Well, I was with his family this weekend and overheard an interesting conversation. The discussion just so happened to be audio books. Comments abounded about how they never thought of listening to an audio book while exercising.

What? Then you’re not reading my blog are you?! Hmmph! How many times have I said over and over that audio books are excellent to listen to while on the treadmill, or stationary bike, where you can listen and workout at the same time? Yeah, I know, numerous. That is why so many of you ran out and bought an MP3 player right?

You visit Audio Book Heaven, get an idea of the book you want to pick out, and why not order it directly from that blog? Wow!

I heard all the pros and cons of why audio books were not good for walking and riding a bike. Not being able to hear the cars coming from behind was one of the major concerns, but then I remembered the benefit of listening while driving, kinda takes your mind off of the other scrambled egg mess you have going on in your brain.

Then there is the benefit of listening while on a plane. Gosh, you can just get swept away in a book and forget about how long the flight is. Audio books are a great form of taking you away to a place you only dreamed of without ever leaving your home, or turning a page! You can’t beat that now can you?

So what are you going to remember? Audio books are good! Joni says so, remember that. Now go enjoy the day and I’ll do the same!